SAIMS

文部科学省 大学の世界展開力強化事業 ~海外との戦略的高等教育連携支援~

Re-Inventing Japan Project –Support for Strategic Higher Education Cooperation with Overseas–

SAIMS for ASEAN Students

Sophia AIMS Program (SAIMS)

‘Trans-Disciplinary Human Development Education Program Aiming for Harmonized Diversity’

Program Outline

The Sophia AIMS Program (SAIMS) is a trans-disciplinary program focused on ‘Human Development.’ Students from Southeast Asia and Japan will study together in a program that combines the disciplinary frameworks of natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. ‘Human Ecology: Diversity and Connectivity of Society and Nature’ is the main theme, under which students will select courses from the areas of ‘Engineering’ and ‘Language & Culture,’ while taking one mandatory course, ‘Introduction to Trans-Disciplinary Human Development (TDHD).’ Students may also participate in the fieldwork seminar ‘Human Ecology: Rivers’ and the Summer Session in Asian Studies offered in August.

Program Contents

Students will enroll as exchange students at the Center for Global Discovery (Faculty of Foreign Studies) and study for one semester at Sophia University. Students will take the following courses based on her/his learning agreement:

Required Course Introduction to Trans-Disciplinary Human Development (TDHD) (2 credits, required for everyone):

This course provides students with an overview of TDHD, the core concept of the SAIMS Program. In this course, professors from natural sciences, social sciences and humanities will share ideas about how each academic field approaches key issues in human development such as education for sustainable development, the environment and development, aquatic ecosystems, environmental conservation, indigenous peoples and the environments, and food and agriculture. This course fulfills the requirements of the SAIMS program.

Elective Courses Electives in Engineering / Language & Culture (12-14 credits):

Elective courses are listed in the areas of ‘Engineering’ and ‘Language & Culture.’ To encourage trans-disciplinary learning, some introductory courses in science and engineering are open to non-science major students. To find out which elective courses are offered in the academic year 2014-2015, see course list. For more details on each course, search in Syllabi Inquiry with the course title or course code. Students can also take other courses from the Faculty of Liberal Arts (all courses are taught in English) that are not on the SAIMS course list, including courses of International Business and Economics, Social Studies, and Comparative Culture. Please note that some courses have pre-requisites prior to enrollment (see instructors for details). For the course details of the Faculty of Liberal Arts, see the website

  • Fieldwork Seminar “Human Ecology: Rivers” (2 credits, offered from July 28 to August 9)

    This two-week intensive course examines the environmental history and politics of Japan through a discussion-based seminar in Tokyo and hands-on fieldwork in Hokkaido, the northernmost prefecture in Japan. In 2014, the seminar will focus on the ecological systems of the Kushiro Region, home of the largest protected wetland in Japan. Transportation and accommodation costs for the seminar will be provided by Sophia.

    Course syllabus

  • Summer Session in Asian Studies (3-6 credits, offered from the end of July to mid-August)

    Since its foundation in 1961, Sophia University’s Summer Session in Asian Studies has provided students with the opportunity to learn about traditional and contemporary Japan. Students can take courses of various topics ranging from business to culture, politics to literature, and history to society, and participate in cultural activities. Tuition fees for the summer session will be waived for SAIMS students. See more details on the website

  • Other activities

    Sophia will offer various opportunities in service learning and cultural experiences, such as volunteer camps and exchange events with local students and communities. Details are to be announced.

Academic Calendar

Semester Classes Examinations
Spring April – July *Fieldwork Seminar in August Late July
Autumn Late September – January Late January

Credit Transfer

Sophia University will provide the following documents and information necessary for AIMS students to transfer credits to their home university:

  • Official transcript with course titles and grades*
  • Course syllabi
  • Academic calendar and class schedule

*Grades and Grading System A student’s performance is evaluated based on the following table:

Grade Scale Quality Point Index
A 100-90 Excellent 4.0
B 89-90 Good 3.0
C 79-70 Satisfactory 2.0
D D 69-60 Passing 1.0
W Withdrawal
F Failure

Financial Support

Tuition at Sophia University is waived based on the exchange agreement between Sophia University and the home university. Round-trip airfare and accommodation at Sophia Soshigaya International House will also be covered by the program.